It isn’t even 12pm and I am utterly exhausted. The truth is that this bullshit with Standard Bank has been way too consuming for the past week. I haven’t been able to do much else, and it is nowhere near a satisfying resolution. I think that this how big corporations deal with complaints and restless customers; they wear them down.

After airing my plight on Cape Talk this morning, and generating a fair amount of interest, I started getting a response from the bank. Various people apologised for “the inconvenience caused” and asked what they could do to help, assuming that I should be grateful to them for allowing me to be coerced into opening a new account and attaching a debit order to it in order to pay my Standard Bank home loan. Everyone at Standard Bank thinks that the issue is now resolved, but I don’t. I didn’t want to open a new account, nor set up a new debit order on it, but there was no other way I could be paid back the money taken in the first place. I now do have a choice. I will be closing this new account the minute I have set up a debit order on my Nedbank account. I want nothing further to do with Standard Bank ever.

I don’t accept why the money was withdrawn and my account was closed in the first place. I don’t know why we weren’t notified that we needed to update our fica details (the reason given for the closure of the account). I still want to know how banks have the right to do this anyway.

But mostly I want to know why they care so little, and are so completely alienating to their customers. The call centre, the only number to reach them, is manned by hopelessly junior call centre people who can’t authorise a thing. They cannot pass you on to anyone with authority, nor can they successfully put you through to a branch or head office. Any dealings with anyone are on their terms. And the script is always the same. You need to go in to a branch. I sat in a branch this week 3 times, for a total of about 5 hours. And I think this is unacceptable. What do you think?